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Sermon #52 — Ephesians Sermons

 

Title:                           Christ our Head

 

Text:                            Ephesians 4:15

Subject:                     Christ the Head of His Church

Date:                          Tuesday Evening — November 8, 2016

Readings:     Allen Kibby and Lindsay Campbell

Introduction:

 

Those of you who are signed up to receive Bro. Jeff Schwend’s daily Grace Gems had this quote from John Newton in your inbox this morning. I can’t think of a better way to introduce my message than by reading Newton’s words written 250 years ago.

 

“The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, ‘The Lord reigneth! Let the people tremble!’ (Psalm 99:1) — The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But he loves his children. Some are sighing and mourning before him. And I am sure he hears their sighs and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom; but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel, before we are humbled, and are taught to give him the glory.

 

The state of the nation and the state of the churches — both are deplorable! Those who should be praying are disputing and fighting among themselves! Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government than for their own sins! — ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! (Revelation 19:6)”

 

This evening I want to talk to you about — CHRIST our HEAD. My text is Ephesians 4:15. — CHRIST our HEAD (Ephesians 4:15).

 

Promoting Unity

 

In this chapter, the Apostle Paul is anxious to promote true Christian unity. To him there seemed to be no surer way to secure the unity of God’s saints than to convince us that all true believers are members of one mystical body, of which Jesus Christ is the Head.

 

Prisoner of Christ

 

Paul begins this chapter by saying, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,” or, as you read in the margin, “The prisoner in the Lord.” At the beginning of chapter 3, he calls himself “The prisoner of Jesus Christ.” The Lord Jesus Christ was Warden and Guard. Christ was his Prison, his Defense, and his Security. Paul was a prisoner in Jesus Christ. He was Christ’s prisoner. He was preserved in Christ. Kept in Christ. Shut up in Christ. Do what he would, it was impossible for him to escape from Christ; and he didn’t want to escape. In Christ Jesus he was shut in from condemnation. A prisoner, yet a free man. From Christ Jesus he could find no separation. — Precious security!

 

Walk Worthy

 

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1). — What is the necessity for this appeal? The necessity is the fact that, even among the saints of God, there is much carelessness regarding our walk, regarding the way we behave.

 

The apostle speaks here, not from the pinnacle of self-assurance, but from the depths of self-abasement. He speaks not with an air of superiority; but from a deep sense of identity with God’s saints in their infirmities and sins. — Those who know the most about themselves, in the experience of grace, by the teaching of God the Ghost, are the most conscious of their faults, failures, and falls.

 

Read on. —

 

With Lowliness

 

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). — How lacking we all are in this matter! We are all far too quick to catch the failings, falls, and follies of the others, and far too quick to excuse our own wickedness. — “Accusing or else excusing one another” (Romans 2:15). We excuse in ourselves that which we accuse and condemn in others. We are quick to rebuke, and sit in judgment upon others, while screening and covering our own evil deeds. — That should never be the case. We ought to be lenient with others and severe with ourselves.

 

As we are brought by God the Holy Ghost to know our own sin, and to know that our standing before God is altogether by his rich, free, and sovereign grace in Christ, flowing to us through the blood and righteousness of our blessed Savior, we should be able, and should delight, to be forbearing, gracious, kind, and forgiving, in love. — “Forbearing one another in love.” Let there be no lording over God’s heritage, but kindness, tender-heartedness, patience, and love!

 

Endeavoring to Keep

 

Endeavouring.” — I like that word. Paul does not say that we must keep the unity of the Spirit, but that we should earnestly strive to do so, — “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” We ought to each esteem the other better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Let us strive not for the highest place, but willingly take our place with the lowest of the low in the family of God, that Christ alone may be exalted, and his name glorified.

Perfect Oneness

 

Then, in verses 4-6, Paul shows us how reasonable and right it is for us to treat one another this way. We should be gracious, kind, thoughtful, affectionate, forgiving, forbearing, and long-suffering with one another because we are one body in Christ and one with Christ. There is, between the Triune Jehovah and his people a perfect oneness that should compel us to keep this “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

 

(Ephesians 4:4-6) “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

 

Pastor’s Work

 

To this end, our Lord Jesus Christ has put each of us in our place in his body and gave his Church the regularly established ministry of the Gospel (vv. 7-11).

 

(Ephesians 4:7-11) “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) (11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”

 

It should be the relentless business of every pastor to pursue “the edifying of the body of Christ.” It is our responsibility to be always “speaking the truth in love,” so that we all “may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

 

(Ephesians 4:12-15) “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”

 

Here God the Holy Spirit tells us that our Savior’s reason for establishing a standing ministry in his Church. He did it for the perfecting of the saints, for the establishing of the whole mystical body of Christ in him, our glorious Head. Nothing can accomplish this great goal except the ministry of the Gospel. When the Lord graciously gathers his people together in the assembly of his saints and he comes in the midst of them, everything is blessed and refreshing. There is no leanness of soul, no spiritual lack, nothing but life and pleasantness when Christ meets with us in the house of God. The body is edified, when “the good will of him that dwelt in the bush” dwells in our midst! That good will flows from his heart into our hearts, and the fragrance and savor of Christ’s name is as ointment poured forth! — (Deuteronomy 33:16; Song of Solomon 1:3). It is by the grace and power of Christ our Head, that we are all joined together in one body.

 

Christ the Head

 

It is by the preaching of the Gospel that God saves sinners (Romans 10:17). And in our text, in verse 15, Paul tells us that it is by the regularly established ministry of the Word, by the preaching of the Gospel in the house of God, that saved sinners “grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.

 

This matter of Christ being the head of the Church is a matter of great importance. It is so important that Paul, writing by Divine inspiration, made it a dominant theme of two of his epistles. It is mentioned in three of the six chapters of Ephesians.

1.    In Ephesians 1:22, we are told that God “hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be Head over all things, to the Church.

2.    Here, in Ephesians 4:15, we read that Christ is the Head of his body, the Church.

3.    Then, in Ephesians 5:23, we read, “Christ is the Head of the Church: and he is the Savior of the body.

 

Colossians

 

The headship of Christ is a dominant theme in the book of Colossians, too. In Colossians 1:18 we read, — “He is the Head of the body, the Church.” There the Spirit of God shows us that the headship of Christ is to be held in the highest esteem by us, because it is placed side-by-side with the loftiest honors of our Lord Jesus. In the same breath, the Son of God is called “the Image of the invisible God,” “the Firstborn of every creature,” that is the Creator of all existence, and “the Head of the body, the Church.” Colossians 2:19 declares that Christ is “the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”

 

Christ is our Head. Christ is the Head of all things. Christ is the Head of his body, the Church. For any mere mortal to assume this title is equal to the blasphemy of a mere man assuming the mediatorial office of our Savior. I would be no more shocked to hear a man assert that he is the Creator of all things, that he is the Savior of men, or that he is God, than I am when a doddering old man in Rome, wearing a pretty white robe and a masonic order headdress, claims to be the Head of the Church!

 

Proposition: I want to show you one blessed truth from our text. I pray that the Holy Spirit will give you a heart to rejoice in it. — The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Head of his body, the Church, and all true believers are members of him.

 

The Church

 

What is the Church, of which Christ is the Head? The word “church” means assembly. The Church of Jesus Christ is an assembly of believers. It is the entire company of God’s chosen, redeemed, and called people. It is the whole community of the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the assembly of those whose names are written in heaven (Hebrews 12:23). That entire body of people for whom the Lord Jesus Christ died at Calvary is the Church of which he is the Head. Part of that Church is in heaven, triumphant, part on earth, militant; but these differences in place make no division as to real unity. There is but one Church in heaven and in earth. Neither does time cause any separation of this mystical body of Christ. The Church is always one. The Church of the Old Testament and the Church of the New is one. The Church of the apostles and the Church of the reformers is one. The Church of the first century and the Church of the 21st century is one. And of this one and only Church, the Lord Jesus Christ, our God-man Mediator, is the one and only Head.

 

Allied to Christ, our vital Head,

We act, and grow, and thrive;

From Him divided, each is dead,

When most he seems alive.

 

God’s saints on earth, and those above,

Here join in sweet accord:

One body, all in mutual love,

And Christ, our common Lord.

 

He the whole body will present

Before the Father’s face!

Nor shall a wrinkle or spot

Its beauteous form disgrace!

 

Blessed is that company of redeemed sinners who can call the Son of God their Head! — I pray that God the Holy Ghost will join you to Christ by faith this very hour, if you are not now united to him. And for those of us who are by faith joined to and one with Christ our Head, I pray that God will graciously enable us to live as his body, as the members of Jesus Christ himself.

 

Divisions: I want to raise four questions and give you the answers to them from the Scriptures.

1.    What is meant by our Lord’s headship of the Church?

2.    What does the headship of Christ imply?

3.    What is the foundation of Christ’s headship of the Church?

4.    What is our responsibility as members of Christ our Head?

 

Christ’s Headship

 

1st — I want us to see – What is meant by our Lord’s headship of the Church? When the Scriptures tell us that Christ is our Head, what does that mean?

 

Competent Head

 

First, the Lord Jesus Christ is the competent Head of the Church. Let me show you several things that demonstrate the competency of Christ our Head. As the Head of his Church he demonstrates many characteristics that show him to be just such a head as his body requires.

 

Christ is our sovereign and supreme Head. — The head has pre-eminence in the body. It is placed by nature as the uppermost member, and all the rest are below it. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ was exalted as “Head of all things to the Church,” “that in all things he might have the pre-eminence.” The Triune God has made Christ pre-eminent over all his creation as a man.

Š      “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee forever” (Psalm 45:2).

Š      “My Beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand” (Song of Solomon 5:10).

 

As God has made Christ the Head of all things in creation, each of us should make Christ alone the Head of all things in our own hearts and lives.

Š      Let him be the Head of your loves.

Š      Make him the Head of your hopes.

Š      Make him the Head of your desires.

Š      Let him be the Head of your delights.

 

Christ is our suitable Head. — As his body, the Church, has a human nature, so does our Head.

Š      It was necessary for our Savior to assume that nature which had sinned, if he would redeem his elect (Hebrews 2:14-16).

Š      We should never cease to marvel that the Son of God would stoop so low to ransom rebel worms. — “What is man that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:4-5).

 

Christ is our supplying Head. — He nourishes and cherishes his body, supplying it with all that is needed.

Š      He supplies us with grace.

Š      He supplies us with our daily needs upon the earth.

Š      He supplies us with wisdom and knowledge, making known to us the secrets of his heart.

Š      He supplies us with guidance and direction. — “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:8).

Š      He who supplies us with grace will supply us with Glory, too!

 

Christ is our sympathizing Head. Our living Head has a fellow-feeling with all his true members in everything that concerns them. Oh, how our souls ought to be comforted to know that our Head is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. — He knows our temptations, and helps us in them (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15-16).

 

(Hebrews 2:17-18) “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

 

(Hebrews 4:15-16) “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

 

He feels our afflictions; therefore, he will arise for our rescue (Isaiah 63:9).

 

“In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and the Angel of his presence saved them: in his love and pity he redeemed them; and bare them, and carried them all the days of old” (Isaiah 63:9).

 

We rejoice in heart to know that our Redeemer shares all our joys as well (Matthew 25:34-40).

 

(Matthew 25:31-40) “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: (32) And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: (33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (35) For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: (36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. (37) Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? (38) When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? (39) Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? (40) And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

 

Christ is our saving Head. “Christ is Head of the Church, the Savior of the body” (Ephesians 5:23). He is the Head of the Church who is the Savior of the Church. His name is Jesus — Savior. And as our Head, he could not be complete without his body. The Lord God hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all (Ephesians 1:22-23).

 

Complete Head

 

In all of this we see that Christ is in every way competent to be the Head of his Church; but I want you to also know that — He is the complete Head of the Church. — There are many ways in which Christ fills his office as the Head of the body. Let me show you a few.

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Head, because he is our Representative. — The head is the representative of the body. When we count the number of people in a place, we say we are counting heads, because the head stands for the body. It has always been God’s pleasure to deal with men collectively as a body, by means of representation. His great covenant transactions are with men in a body, not as individuals (Romans 5:12-21).

Š      We fell in our father Adam, because he was the head of the race — Our representative to God.

Š      Now Christ is the Head of God’s spiritual creation. He is our Representative to God in the Covenant of Grace.

Š      We were chosen in him.

Š      We were redeemed in him.

Š      We were called in him.

Š      We are accepted in him.

Š      We live in him. — “Because I live, ye shall live also.”

 

Christ is also our Head in a mystical, vital sense, as is explained in Ephesians 4:16. “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

 

The head is indispensable to the life of the body; even so, Christ is indispensable to the life of his people. He is our vital Head. — “He is our life.” — “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” — Separation from Christ is spiritual death. Union to him is spiritual life. The life of every member of Christ’s Church is dependent upon the life of our Head. From the Lord Jesus Christ alone every living child of God continually derives his life. — “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

 

The head is not only the source of life. It is also the seat of government. — Man walks, speaks, eats, and sleeps according to the direction of that mysterious something that is found in his head. Thus, Christ our Head is the supreme Governor of his body.

 

The head is also the glory of the body. — The chief beauty of manhood is in the head. The remnant of the Divine image is best seen in man’s head. The face of a man is his distinguishing glory. He holds his head erect toward the heavens. His face is not turned toward the earth like a beast. Beauty chooses her favored seat in the features of the face. There you see the signs of majesty and tenderness, wisdom and love, courage and compassion. In this sense too Christ is our Head. He is all the beauty of his Church. She is properly called the fairest among women, because her Head excels all things in beauty. His beauty is our beauty (Ezekiel 16:14).

 

(Ezekiel 16:1-14) “Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, (3) And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. (4) And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. (5) None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. (6) And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live. (7) I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. (8) Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. (9) Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil. (10) I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. (11) I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. (12) And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. (13) Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. (14) And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.”

 

Yes, blessed be his name, our great Christ is our complete Head; and we are complete in him (Colossians 2:9-10).

 

Conjugal Head

 

Another figure that is used in the Scripture to describe Christ as the Head of the Church is the conjugal, or marital head.

Š      As Eve was taken from the side of Adam, the Church was taken from the side of Christ.

Š      He is espoused to us, and we are espoused to him, as a chaste virgin; and we are both anxiously awaiting the day of our marriage.

Š      As the husband is the head of the wife, so Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:25-32).

 

(Ephesians 5:25-32) “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

 

Crowned Head

 

Once more the Lord Jesus Christ is our royal, crowned Head. He is the King in Zion. The Church is the Kingdom of God. This is the Kingdom of Heaven. It is purely spiritual, comprehending only spiritual men, and existing only for spiritual purposes. And Christ alone is King of his church (Psalm 2:1, 6; Ephesians 1:21).

 

John Newton once wrote — “The whole system of my politics is summed up in this one verse, ‘The Lord reigneth! Let the people tremble!’ (Psalm 99:1) — The times look awfully dark indeed; and as the clouds grow thicker the stupidity of the nation seems proportionally to increase. If the Lord had not a remnant here, I would have very formidable apprehensions. But he loves his children. Some are sighing and mourning before him. And I am sure he hears their sighs and sees their tears. I trust there is mercy in store for us at the bottom; but I expect a shaking time before things get into a right channel, before we are humbled, and are taught to give him the glory. — The state of the nation and the state of the churches — both are deplorable! Those who should be praying are disputing and fighting among themselves! Alas! how many professors are more concerned for the mistakes of government than for their own sins! — ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth! (Revelation 19:6)”

 

Implications

 

2nd — Briefly, I want us to consider — What does this headship of Christ over his Church imply? This is certain — Since Christ is the only Head of his body, the Church, he alone can determine her doctrine. — Christ alone is our Rabbi. We call no man Master.

Š      Our doctrine is not to be derived from the reason of man.

Š      Our doctrine is not founded upon the opinion of the church fathers.

Š      Our doctrine is not formulated by the councils of men.

Š      Nothing is to be received as a doctrine of Christ’s Church which is not plainly written in the Book of God.

 

Since Christ is our Head, only he can lay down the laws of his Church. He is our only legislator.

Š      The Church has no power to make laws for herself.

Š      We do not have the right to form laws upon the opinions and traditions of men.

Š      And we have no right to make laws regulating the lives of others, either believers or unbelievers.

Š      The law of Christ’s Church is plainly set forth in the Book of God. We would do well to live by it.

Š      It is the law of faith.

Š      It is the law of love.

Š      It is the law of liberty.

Š      Whatever contradicts this, we must resist!

 

If Christ is our Head, then his sole authority in all things must be rigorously maintained. I insist upon this because churches are so very apt to seek guidance from some other authority.

Š      Many today are guided by what they think will be the results of their activity.

Š      Most churches regulate their doctrine and their activity according to the whims of the times in which we live.

Š      The vast majority of churches have a sacred reverence for tradition.

 

Our hearts are assured of this fact, too — Since Christ is the Head of his Church, then all things concerning her welfare are safe.

Š      Our Head is safe. So we are safe.

Š      Our triumph is sure.

Š      Our inheritance is secure.

Š      Christ’s glory is certain.

 

The Foundation

 

3rd — I will show you the satisfying answer to this question — What is the foundation of Christ’s headship of the Church?

 

Beyond all dispute Christ is Head of the Church by the decree of God. “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee: sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”

 

Christ’s headship rests upon the supremacy of his nature and the efficacy of his work (Philippians 2:8-11).

Š      He is God over all and blessed forever.

Š      He is the perfect Man — The Firstborn among many brethren.

Š      The headship of Christ is the inevitable and necessary result of his substitutionary accomplishments (John 16:10).

 

Thou hast redeemed our souls with blood,

Hast set the prisoners free;

Hast made us kings and priests to God,

And we shall reign with thee.

 

Š      He loved us.

Š      He washed us.

Š      He set us free.

Š      He upholds us.

Š      He intercedes for us.

 

He must be Head, because God decreed it and he earned it!

 

And the Lord Jesus Christ is Head of his Church by the universal acclamation of all the members of his body (Revelation 5:9-10). The saints in heaven and earth proclaim him Lord, and Head, and King.

 

“Let him be crowned with majesty,

Who bowed His head to death:

And be His honors sounded high,

By all things that have breath!”

 

Let us, then, reject any head, but Christ.

Š      We have no pope, but Christ.

Š      We have no ruler, but Christ.

Š      We have no authority, but Christ.

Š      We have no law, but Christ.

 

Our Responsibility

 

4th — Let me briefly address this question, and I will be done. — What is our responsibility as members of Christ our Head?

 

We have a responsibility with regard to ourselves. — We must make sure that we are united to Christ, not by a dead profession of religion, but by the living union of faith.

 

We have a responsibility to Christ our Head. — Is Christ our head? — Then, let us be subject to him in all things.

Š      Submit to his Word.

Š      Submit to his doctrine.

Š      Submit to his will.

Š      Submit to his worship.

Š      Submit to his ordinances.

Š      Submit to his providence.

Š      Submit to his glory.

 

With the Lord Jesus Christ as our Head, how happy, content, and satisfied we ought to be!

Š      Satisfied with his love.

Š      Satisfied with his righteousness.

Š      Satisfied with his ways.

Š      Satisfied with his purposes.

 

We have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ, as members of Christ.

Š      Let us show them charity, brotherly kindness, gentleness, and love in all things.

Š      Be careful not to hurt or offend those for whom Christ died, in word or in deed.

Š      Learn to be content with your place in the body of Christ, and serve the Lord with singleness of heart.

Š      Highly esteem one another for Christ’s sake.

Š      Be compassionate toward all your brethren. — Suffer with them in their afflictions and sorrows. — Rejoice with them in their joys. — Be ready to help your brethren in any way possible.

Š      Are they fallen? Lift them up.

Š      Are they hungry? Feed them.

Š      Are they tempted? Pray for them.

Š      Are they weary? Support them.

Š      Are they broken-hearted? Comfort them.

Š      Are they discouraged? Encourage them.

Š      Are they fearful? Assure them.

 

Application

 

Sinner, come and bow to Christ as your Head — Your only acceptable Representative — Your only Life — Your only King.

 

My brother, my sister, is Christ our Head? Then all is safe and secure. Our Head is safe in heaven; and he must have his body (Ephesians 1:23). — Jesus reigns! — All is well!

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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